Just in Time! – Thinking Routines Templates

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Choose-Your-Own-AdventureWhile putting the “final touches” on a lesson plan, I was struck with a decision about the class ending activity. I know students will have questions and concerns about the readings and projects.  I wanted the freedom and flexibility to choose the culminating activity in the moment.  What could I do?
I imported all 3 thinking routines into Socrative, and then allowed myself to choose the culminating activity in the moment.  It was a very freeing feeling to know I was prepared for a great class, and still able to be responsive to the day’s flow and demands.

 

Here are the 3 Thinking Routines – Import the templates using the SOC #s or create your own. (Click here to learn how to import activities)

Thinking Routine: I Used to Think…, But Now I think...   SOC-17616

Purpose: “This routine helps students to reflect on their thinking about a topic or issue and explore how and why that thinking has changed. It can be useful in consolidating new learning as students identify their new understandings, opinions, and beliefs. By examining and explaining how and why their thinking has changed, students are developing their reasoning abilities and recognizing cause and effect relationships.”  (Project Zero)

Read more

See, Think, Wonder – Making Thinking Visible

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Harvard’s Project Zero has created learning routines based on research, helping teachers garner a more thorough thinking process from students. See, Think, Wonder, is one such routine that engages students in visual multimedia such as pictures or videos.

Design an Image based quiz focussing on these 3 questions:

1. What do you see?

2. What do you think about that?

3. What does it make you wonder?

Students draw from their own unique perspective, inviting curiosity from their peers. Depending on the teaching need, a single student may answer all three questions at once in a Student Paced Quiz, or the class may work together through the Teacher Paced Quiz option to answer and discuss questions one at a time.

Learn more at www.visiblethinkingpz.org

 

Space Race vs. Other Classrooms and Schools!

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Space Race 9 Rockets

We all know the fun of having a Space Race in your own class.

How about:

A Space Race against other classes within your school?

A Space Race against classes in the US?

A Space race against classes all over the world?

 

It’s quite simple! Here’s how:

1. Identify your competition and pick a date and time for the showdown!

Tip: Find other teachers within your PLN to Race

2. Co-construct an assessment and create it in Socrative

Tip: Enable sharing so each teacher can also import a copy using a SOC-#

3. Choose a screen sharing site

Tip: Google Hangouts and Skype work great!

4. Login in to your Socrative Account and the screen sharing site

5. Share your Socrative room number and screen sharing link

Tip: All classrooms can now view your Socrative screen in their own schools!

6. Have classrooms login in with 1 or more devices

Tip: 20 possible rockets across all classrooms

7. Select Space Race, Quiz and the number of teams

Tip: Choose a time limit if you want the furthest to win and not the fastest

8. GO!!!!!!!!! 

Tip: Take a final screenshot, Email the report to your colleagues and/or project it live on the screen!

Create Quiz Updates!

We’ve gathered a lot of feedback and made a number of enhancements to the Create/Edit quiz experience.

Enjoy!

Create and Edit Quiz Enhancements

  • Duplicate a Quiz Question
  • Save and Edit one question at a time
  • Create/Edit question mode and Saved question mode have new designs
  • Thumbs up notification on quiz saving when leaving create/edit mode
  • Improved stability of question formatting toolbar
  • Ability to turn on/off question formatting
  • Tab between content fields within a question
  • Reduced height of default text fields
  • Verification pop up after selecting Delete question
  • Add Image functionality moved to top of question field
  • Improved responsive design for small screens and mobile

2 MODES

1. Save Mode

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 4.47.41 PM

 

 

2. Edit mode

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 4.47.55 PM

4 Fun and Reflective Activities to End the School Year!

imagesThe end of the school year is filled with mixed emotions: excitement for the impending freedom of summer, and sadness about the culmination of a great class and a great year. Use these final school days to connect with your classroom in fresh ways, and reflect on the school year behind you in order to better prepare for the next one.

Fun end of the year activities can enhance the bond within your class, as well as energize and refocus your students during their last days in the classroom.

ACTIVITY: Use Socrative’s True/False feature to see how many of your students will be doing certain summer activities. Show them the results and they can discuss or elaborate on their plans. Examples:

        • Going swimming
        • Going to camp
        • Going on vacation
        • Playing sports
        • Eating ice cream
        • Making lemonade

ACTIVITY: Plan to be flexible during one part of your school day. Use Socrative’s Short Answer feature to have students give ideas of activities to do during that time, or use Multiple Choice Polling to have students vote on which pre-planned activity they want to do. Giving them a say in their schedule can help keep students positive and interested during the school day.

 

This time of year is ripe for teachers to reflect on their best, and maybe not so good, teaching practices, in order to make the coming year better than ever. This time is ideal because you still have your best critics at your fingertips: your students. Here are some ways you can get helpful feedback from your students using Socrative. In order to avoid unhelpful or silly answers, be sure to remind them that you want their honest (and anonymous) feedback to help you improve.

ACTIVITY: Give this Shared Quiz to gain valuable open-ended feedback from your students:

SOC-16604372 The questions included are:

1. Name 3 things that helped you learn this year.

2. Name 3 things that made it hard for you to learn this year.

3. What was the most challenging thing we did this year?

4. What was your favorite moment from our class?

Tip: Import a shared quiz in the Manage Quizzes section (Feel free to edit it!)

ACTIVITY: Ask for more specific feedback. If there is a unit you want to modify or shorten, use Socrative’s Multiple Choice feature to ask your class’ opinion. An example of this could be:

Which activity taught you the most (or least) about volcanoes:

    1. Creating a diagram
    2. Watching the news story
    3. Writing the report
    4. The reading and discussion activity

Here at Socrative we want to wish you a happy summer and say a big THANK YOU for using us in your classroom this year. We are constantly working to improve Socrative so keep checking our blog for updates on new features!

Teaching Summer School? Check back for our next blog post!

Socrative Snow is Live

Snowy Release – APR 2, 2015

 

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We made a number of changes to improve the Socrative experience.  As you know, we believe in formative, so keep us in the loop on how it’s performing and we’ll make updates and improvements.

Release Notes

– Interface color scheme updated to blue and white for improved projection and device display

– Manage Quizzes access moved to secondary navigation below header. Now accessible from every page!

– Space Race icons added – unicorn, spaceship

– Live Results Chart ImprovementsSort by Student Name
— Show Progress/Score
— Click on Question #s or Class Total %s for a detailed question view

– Change your interface display to 6 new languages: Chinese, Dutch, French, Korean, Portuguese or Spanish. Student interfaces will in turn be displayed in your preferred language.

teacherSpacerace teacherLiveresults teacherDashboard studentQuiz2 studentQuiz Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 11.17.36 AM Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 10.48.27 AM

 

2 Activities for Observational Skills and Language Studies

Car Trailer

Pictures and Video offer us an unending supply of starting points from which to engage our language learners in class, the outside world and each other.  Students can jump off into non-scripted, free form conversation as they discuss the media itself or connections that it makes to their own lives. In the process of acquiring language, it can helpful to bridge the gap between what we see and what we can express through the written or spoken word. And let’s face it, they are fun to look at and expand our minds.

Empower Students and Have Fun!

Invite students to bring in videos and images that they make themselves and find on the internet. You’ll find they are even more engaged when it is their content.

Photos

Create a slide with different images.
Design a Quick Quiz with a question or more related to each image.

  • Ask Students to write a caption for the Image
  • Ask Open-Ended questions in various tenses. 
  • Ask Open-Ended questions that elicit target vocabulary.
  • Utilize MC questions to target specific misconceptions by including them as choices.
Use the Quick Quiz as an Entrance Ticket, in class Quiz or Exit Ticket.

 

Videos

Play a video clip and pause it at a specific moment.

Activate the Short Answer feature and ask a question.

  • Ask “What do you think the character will say next?” (future tense)
  • Ask “Write a two sentence summary of what’s happening.” (sentence creation, open-ended observation)
  • Ask “Describe the scene using at least 3 new adjectives.” (new vocabulary)
  • Ask ” What did the main character do?”  (past tense)

Have students read their answers out loud to practice pronunciation.

Discuss as a class

Have students vote on their favorites

 

Turn Exploring a New Technology into a Learning Activity

The introduction of a new classroom technology offers a wonderful opportunity for whole class discussion, exploration and collaboration.  You included!

In our experience students are often very savvy with new technology and can uncover features and tricks we had no idea existed.

Let’s create an environment to explore Socrative together! Model for students how it’s okay to make mistakes and that learning is an active process.  It will be fun, enriching, and take the pressure off you to be the master of all technologies.

 

Discuss these Questions as you explore Socrative

What do you notice or observe about Socrative?

Can you connect this to any other technologies?

How could we use Socrative in our classroom?

Set-Up

Project your screen and run some activities.  

A quick question activity such as True/False or Short Answer.

A Student Paced quiz (include MC, TF and SA questions)

Here are some things students may learn during a Student-paced quiz 

“To select an answer, click on it and it will turn bright green (and stay that way).”

“You can change questions using the “Previous” or “Next” buttons or by clicking on the left navigation.”

“Answers can be changed at anytime.”

“You can choose multiple answers, but you should only do so if the question calls for it. If you choose the correct answer, but also select a second one that is incorrect, the whole question will be graded as incorrect.”

“Question Types have their own colors.  True/False is always Purple”

“In order to submit all your answers and end the quiz, press “FINISH” in the top right corner. Once you press finish you cannot change your answers and will get the waiting screen.”

Have a great class!

Back-Channeling with Socrative

What’s a Back Channel? Through a virtual room such as those available in Socrative, students may pose questions or comments regarding the material at hand in real-time, which the teacher may use to drive teaching and discussion. Classroom collaboration thus extends beyond segments of teaching followed by discussion, seamlessly melding the two, fostering participation and engagement.  Often done silently, it helps maintain class control while igniting and furthering collaboration.

Socrative short answer as a Back Channel!

Mr Vernon, a 6th grade Earth Science teacher wants to engage students during his overview lecture on plate tectonics. However, he has a lot of material to cover in a short amount of time. He turns to Socrative Short Answer to create a backchannel room so that students may submit questions throughout class.  It’s preset at anonymous but he likes to turn on the name feature for added accountability and the opportunity to directly support individual students. He also allows students to submit multiple times.

He asks students to “Surface questions or comments about this material”

In the last fifteen minutes of class, Mr. Vernon projects the questions and comments on the board and answers those that are the most common. Students learn what their peers are thinking and can compare it to their own understanding.  Mr. Vernon appreciates how he can clear up any areas of misunderstanding before the class ends.  In addition, he often adjusts homework as a result. Lastly, he downloads the Socrative report and reflects after class on how he could improve upon his class for next time.

 

January Teacher of the Month

Introducing our January Teacher of the Month:

Ryan Chase!
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When Ryan was first introduced to Socrative, he immediately recognized that it was going to be a “game-changer” because of how it delivers real-time feedback from every student in the class. This ability to quickly see what his students are thinking now allows Ryan to tailor his teaching to the needs of each of his high school Bible classes. One of his favorite things about Socrative is how it gives him the ability to listen to all of his students, even those that are hesitant to speak up in class. He uses Short Answer Quick Question most often to gather his students’ thoughts or “quick writes” and sometimes projects their responses to allow students to hear from each other. He also uses the Multiple Choice and True/False Quick Question features to allow students to vote for their opinions or positions on different topics of discussion.

Ryan has also used Socrative to facilitate a scavenger hunt based upon research his students did in groups on different topics. The student groups created presentations on their topics, which became information “kiosks”, and Ryan gave the class a quiz that required information from each kiosk. Students went through each others’ presentations, learning about each student-researched topic and searching for the information to answer the quiz questions.

Ryan’s students also enjoy using Socrative, as it gives them a voice to provide feedback and influence the direction of the class. He often turns off the name requirement when asking for personal thoughts, views, or experiences in order to encourage more honest answers. He believes this practice has deepened the discussions that they share as a class and gives him access to student opinions that he would never otherwise have access to.

For teachers who are just getting started with Socrative, Ryan suggests using it with their current classroom practices. For example, he suggests instead of asking for a show of hands, use Socrative to take a poll. When doing quick writes, have students respond through Socrative instead of on paper. When asking practice questions, give them through Socrative so you can immediately gauge the class’ understanding. “The beautiful thing about Socrative is that it just gives teachers a quicker, more powerful, and more comprehensive tool to do the same things they’ve been doing”.